Re-post of “When I die”

October 10th, 2014 § 42 comments

IMG_3323When I die don’t think you’ve lost me.

I’ll be right there with you, living on in the memories we have made.

 

When I die don’t say I “fought a battle.” Or “lost a battle.” Or “succumbed.”

Don’t make it sound like I didn’t try hard enough, or have the right attitude, or that I simply gave up.

 

When I die don’t say I “passed.”

That sounds like I walked by you in the corridor at school.

 

When I die tell the world what happened.

Plain and simple.

No euphemisms, no flowery language, no metaphors.

 

Instead, remember me and let my words live on.

Tell stories of something good I did.

Give my children a kind word. Let them know what they meant to me. That I would have stayed forever if I could.

 

Don’t try to comfort my children by telling them I’m an angel watching over them from heaven or that I’m in a better place:

There is no better place to me than being here with them.

They have learned about grief and they will learn more.

That is part of it all.

 

When I die someday just tell the truth:

I lived, I died.

The end.

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§ 42 Responses to Re-post of “When I die”"

  • Helen says:

    So beautifully said! You are such a blessing by sharing your thoughts and feelings in such a beautiful and heartfelt way. You often say what many of us think, but don’t know how to put to words. Thank you for doing that! Thank you!

  • Thank you for your candor, your wisdom, and your guts. This post is definitely something good you did…for all of us.

  • fujikats says:

    Thank you for this, Lisa. You’ve reduced all the gobbledygook down to the clean, simple truth. I will share this with my own children. You’re in my thoughts.

  • Jason says:

    I needed to read this today. I’m an only child who lost his mom a few weeks back and I needed to hear these simple but true words this morning. My mom did everything possible to make everyday the best…she didn’t loose anything. She only gained more love, admiration and respect from her son. Lisa-I’ve been following you for over a year now and you have truly inspired me to be a better person (like my mom). 🙂 Thank you-Jason

  • Annette zamora says:

    Beautiful words. I wish I had your courage and strength. Thank you.

  • Joanne Firth says:

    I will honor your wishes. xo

  • Rebecca says:

    Jason- I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad you found Lisa here.

    Lisa- I try to be very mindful of what I say to the children in our school who have lost their mothers to cancer. Thank you for the reminders.

  • Susan says:

    Thank you for another amazing and so true piece of writing
    Important for everyone to read your words

  • Sarah Hina says:

    Some people try to look around the truth, or smother it with platitudes, because the fear and discomfort are too great to confront it.

    You wrap your fingers around the core of your truth and hold it out for all of us to see. There is beauty in that, Lisa. It’s more than heroism, which always seems faintly dehumanizing to me. It’s the honest work of living your life as fully and honestly as you possibly can, for as long as you can. Authenticity is truly the greatest teacher.

    And you will live on in more memories than most who outlive you, as a result of who you are and how you’ve chosen to live and die.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Thank you once again for your wonderful words.

  • Lisa, this is the most penetrating description of your desires I could imagine. The facts, the truth, are necessary. Everything else minimizes your illness and prognosis. Yes, you are doing everything you can to be here for your family. You are in control of your decisions.

    I had to smile when I read about your warning others not to say you have “passed.” When I did corporate writing seminars, we discussed euphemisms and I showed an excerpt of a George Carlin show in which he spoke of people’s fear of dying and how they covered it up with soft, inane language. In addition to “pass,” he spit out “expire, like a magazine subscription.”

    Hoping you are having one of your better days.

  • James Goetsch says:

    I love your honesty and the way you just try to speak the truth. I remember when my son died, and people would tell me he was an angel in heaven now. And I would ask them: Is he really? Can you show me that? It filled me with such anger when they would say things like that (though I knew they just didn’t know what to say and were simply afraid about it all themselves, that things like that could happen in life). Only the truth as we know it can truly help us. Your writing is so good and human and honest in its attempts to speak the truth. I am glad you decided to write and share your thoughts with us in this time you have. Thanks.

  • Cheryl says:

    Yes. I love you, Lisa. Thank you.

  • Kathryn Schmidt says:

    My Mom died suddenly two years ago and I never say ‘passed away.’ Just didn’t like it but I didn’t know why, until this… Thanks Lisa!!

  • M says:

    I just love your honesty and directness. I wish more people would get that it’s more sensitive and empathic to honour reality. It can be so dismissive and invalidating when people use euphemisms.

    I’ve been following you for a while and your post on what not to say to people with cancer is a classic. I’ll be sharing that one with people.

    Thanks for your dose of truth.

    P.S., to James – I’m infuriated by what people said to you about your son. Wow. I agree people say terrible things when they don’t know what to say.

  • Elizabeth says:

    You have so much strength. My prayers are with you and your family.

  • Beverly says:

    I feel privileged to have found your post, Lisa. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for breathing life into death. Through your directness you removed the veil, exposing death not as an evil villain, but an inevitable part of all our lives. Dying is as much a part of life as living is. It’s that part of life we’re not comfortable with. It’s time we grow up and talk about it, plan for it and share our end-of-life wishes without foreboding. Your eloquent honesty is the breath of fresh air that was needed.

  • Jenna says:

    Thank you for this truthful expression of living, dying, and children. I agree completely. Thank you for making me feel not so alone in my thoughts.

  • Marsha Sutton says:

    A perfect group of thoughts!

  • Marie Hale says:

    This helped me a great deal . My mother died Feb.1’st and it has been so hard. I know she didn’t want to go and leave her family but she was too sick to go on any more. She fought hard just like Susan did. I am still praying for you Paul and for your sons.

  • Gail Christians says:

    I have followed your blog for some months now i will miss everything that I learned about you. And your family

  • Wendy Watson says:

    I have followed this blog constantly. The braveness has been overwhelming. Yes, there really are no other words xxx

  • Wanja Njuguna says:

    Fare thee well, Lisa. You have left a positive legacy for your children – brave despite disease. Its a journey, that all of us will go through but our vehicles might be, will be different. May your kids grow to know what a brave woman you were.

  • Sheila McLean says:

    Thank you for this. Your children will know the extent of your love for them, and you will live on and on because of that.

  • Amy stickel says:

    I was thinking you were in survivorship mode, I hope that I have not missed something. You are an inspiration no matter what stage but I’m always sending you every ounce of my best… You are a true inspiration and an honest voice. I love hearing and sharing what you have to say, it’s very important in my world…:-) hope you are well love to you and you family, including the “fireman”..:-) some day soon hopefully we can hang out on a warm summer evening..:-)

    • Wanja says:

      Amy Stickle, you are aware she rested yesterday (Sunday March 8, I believe) a special day – Women International Day?

  • LaurenS says:

    My mother died 9 days ago. Your post really helped me a lot. I, too, keep saying that my mother died and people look at me funny. I was told that she was an angel looking down on me, and I don’t believe that. I didn’t cry reading your post until I read the date. It was my mother’s last birthday.

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